Online Reviews – Check Before You Select

February 25th, 2016

Online reviews are playing an increasing role in the mortgage industry and here’s why:

TEXT: Hello. I’m doing a video blog today while on my treadmill, that’s why I’m bouncing up and down a bit, on online reviews. Online reviews were thought only to be for restaurants and bars. And you would go to a website like Yelp to see if you wanted to go to a certain restaurant in your neighborhood.

How was it done before?

But it’s really evolved to the point where you can see reviews on any type of service provider, even a mortgage loan officer. And before online reviews came about, most people would ask their realtor, “Who should I use for my mortgage loan officer? How about my home inspector? And who should I use for a title company?” And the realtor really drove all those decisions. So there was one data point, one opinion. And the consumer just went with whatever the realtor said. That was the way it was done ever since I got in the business in 1986.

Now reviews can help you choose a mortgage lender?

Now, things have evolved slowly and they’re really starting to take off with these online reviews. This is not only for products, but also for service providers. You can find on Yelp, Zillow, Google Plus, Angie’s List reviews for service providers, doctors, lawyers, roofers, home inspectors, and mortgage loan officers. And see how people have performed in the past. And instead of getting one data point, you can get multiple as many reviews as someone might have.

So if you go to Yelp and you plug in mortgage broker, mortgage lender, Washington DC Yelp. You search by geography and the results will have Brian Martucci up at the top hopefully still. And if Brian Martucci has 48 five­ star reviews, chances are pretty good that he’s going to do well. And does his job and is efficient and executes and has good pricing, and all the things that you want out of a mortgage loan officer.

The old way really is limited

Going to a realtor, going to a friend, going to someone at work, getting one or two or three data points and trusting an opinion or two. That really doesn’t make sense. Not when you can go online and find reviews on people hopefully, and determine if the crowd… I guess this is basically a crowd­ sourcing example. If the crowd says they’re good, they’re good. Now of course, if you have a service provider that doesn’t have any reviews, they haven’t put up a profile to let themselves be reviewed, you have a hard decision.

Either there’s a reason that they don’t want a profile online to be reviewed. And that may not be a good reason. Maybe they just don’t do an excellent job and don’t want to be reviewed or maybe they just haven’t caught up with the times. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not a good service provider. But it leaves it open to question. How can you not pick somebody with 10, 20, 50, 100 reviews over someone that one human being who could be flawed who says, “Oh, use them. They’re excellent. They’ll have competitive pricing and they’ll get the job done. Don’t worry.”

The more data points the better

I just don’t understand how we can rely on an opinion or two. The world seems to be going on crowdsourcing now. And wanting to see multiple opinions. So I know you can find Brian Martucci on Yelp and Zillow and Google. And just Google Brian Martucci or Google mortgage lender or mortgage broker in your marketplace. I would plug in Washington DC mortgage broker, Washington DC mortgage lender, wherever you are in the country, Los Angeles mortgage broker, see if you can find someone with reviews.

Or if you happen to have a specific referral from a realtor, from a friend, Google their name and see if you can find Doug Johnson mortgage lender and maybe followed by the city that they’re in. See if you can find reviews on them and see what the crowd says. I think that’s the way the world is evolving. And I wanted you to know that I’m online. Feel free to find me online.

I wanted to talk a little bit about the logic on why these reviews probably make sense. Good luck on your next mortgage transaction. Thanks.

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Brian Martucci is a loan officer for Capital Bank Home Loans, a division of Capital Bank, N.A. He has been in the mortgage industry since 1986 and has served in a number of roles, including loan processor, loan officer, mortgage broker, branch manager, and vice president. Brian Martucci – NMLS# 185421. His opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Capital Bank Home Loans or Capital Bank. Capital Bank, N.A.- NMLS# 401599. Click here for the Capital Bank, N.A. “Privacy Policy”.

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